Being a caregiver of a parent with Alzheimer’s or any related dementia can be difficult and challenging. It can drain us emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Often times feelings of anger and resentment can set in. Caring for our elderly parents is quite overwhelming. We try to offer the best possible care and make sacrifices for our loved ones. Often, we will neglect our own well-being and get stressed out.
Signs of Caregiver’s Stress:
- Isolation and withdrawn from others
- Feeling resentful
- Feeling hopeless
- Headaches, backache, tense muscles
- Restless sleep
- Anxiety & worry
- Short temper, irritability
Stress is a normal part of life and is not all bad. However, when stress becomes a constant in our daily lives, it transforms into distress. Stress can cause physical problems (high blood pressure, blurred visions, and stomach irritations) as well as changes in behavior (lack of concentration, loss of appetite, irritability). So, manage the physical and emotional stress in your daily life so that it does not become distress. Learn healthy ways of coping with stress.
Some Stress Management techniques:
- Eat nutritious meals.
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Join a support group.
- Ask for help-get help with shopping, cooking, household chores, etc. Seek help from a Home Health Agency or Day Adult Program.
- Engage in some relaxing and breathing techniques. Take deep breaths and allow your muscles to relax.
- Take time for yourself and engage in fun activities.
- Take time to pray, meditate, and engage in reflective writing.
Arlinda D. Lindsay, M.Div, LCSW, LCAC